Hospitals rarely make the cut as landmarks, much more as a tourist attraction, not unless its forte is tending to a national symbol – and it’s in the UAE.
We’re talking about the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital.
As we all know, the falcon is the UAE’s national bird and the species holds a special place in the Arab tradition and culture.
Bedouins would use the bird to hunt for food, which was a scarce commodity in the harsh and barren desert environment.
Today, falconry is a popular sport enjoyed by both ordinary citizens and high-ranking members of society.
And at the centre of preserving the cultural heritage of the animal is the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital – and here are some interesting facts about the centre.
- The hospital was opened on 3rd October 1999.
- It is touted as the world’s leading falcon welfare institute.
- The hospital is designed to take care and attend to the medical needs of falcons.
- It has individual air-conditioned rooms for over 200 birds.
- It is estimated that around 6,000 falcons enter its care every year.
- The hospital, thanks to its well-trained staff, conducts treatments and check-ups to falcons. It even has a stock of feathers to use as replacement for falcons in need. Trivia: Even a single lost feather is enough to affect a falcon’s balance.
- Though designed for falcons, the hospital has also become a shelter house for stray cats and dogs.
- Because of its uniqueness, the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital has become an attraction visited by residents and tourists.
- The hospitals accommodate guests through facility tours and educating the public about the falcon’s nature and significance to local culture.